‘Inheritance’ bags top honors at Tony Awards

‘Moulin Rouge’, ‘Inheritance’ bag top honors at Tony Awards

This was the first Tony Awards function in 27 months

The official logo of the Tony Awards 2021. Credit: Twitter/@TheTonyAwards

 It was the first Tony Awards in 27 months. It followed the longest Broadway closing in history. It arrived during a pandemic that has already killed 687,000 Americans, and as the theater industry, like many other sectors of society, is wrestling with intensifying demands for racial equity.

The Tony Awards ceremony Sunday night was unlike any that came before — still a mix of prizes and performances, but now with a mission to lure audiences back as the imperiled industry and the enduring art form seek to rebound.

The ceremony’s biggest prize, for best musical, went to Moulin Rouge The Musical, a sumptuously eye-popping stage adaptation of the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film about a love triangle in fin-de-siècle Paris. The musical, jam-packed with present-day pop songs, swept the musical categories, picking up 10 prizes.

“I feel that every show of last season deserves to be thought of as the best musical,” said the “Moulin Rouge!” lead producer, Carmen Pavlovic, “The shows that opened, the shows that closed — not to return — the shows that nearly opened, and of course the shows that paused and are fortunate enough to be reborn.”

The best play award went to The Inheritance, a two-part drama, written by Matthew López and inspired by Howards End, about two generations of gay men in New York City. The win was an upset; “The Inheritance” had received, at best, mixed reviews in the U.S., and many observers had expected Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play to pick up the prize. López, whose father is from Puerto Rico, described himself as the first Latino writer to win the best play Tony, which he said was a point of pride but also suggested the industry needs to do better.

“We constitute 19% of the United States population, and we represent about 2% of the playwrights having plays on Broadway in the last decade,” López said. “This must change.”

The ceremony was held at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theater. Attendees were subjected to the same restrictions as patrons at Broadway shows: they were required to demonstrate proof of vaccination, and they were asked to wear masks that cover their mouths and noses

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